Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Water Bottles

We all hear the commercials and see the ads and hear it on the radio and TV that we all need to slow down on our bottled water consumption and switch to a personal water bottle and refill it so we can save our landfills.  I personally love tap water so not using bottled water and keeping a water bottle on hand is easy.  The hard part is finding the right bottle. 

The above is the newer item in water bottle technology.  This is an old sig type bottle that used to be used for backpacking white gas safely in the back country.  They now have turned the bottles into decorative bottles and now the extreme fear of BPA in plastics makes an aluminum water bottle an easy take over from the polypropylene bottles.  Of course I bought this fancy bottle for my wife as a gift and it was never used so it currently is my personal bottle.  I had a scout see me filling it up and said to me: "hey Mr. Hennesey, nice water bottle" then he giggled.  I told him pink butterflies are real tuff.  Likes about the metal bottle are they keep water and drinks cool and they clean real easy.  Dislikes about metal bottles are the lids are more like corks with a half twist on or off, the mouths are smaller for ice to fit in, and the diameter of the bottles make them toss and turn in cup holders.

Here is an example of a polypropylene bottle.  They are the ones that are considered indestructible if the walls are thick enough.  The look is usually a colored but see through thick plastic feel.  They are often of larger size in capacity and usually come with a wide mouth opening.  I like the wide mouth for ice but, when driving I always spill out the sides of my mouth with these.  Sometimes you can get them with a nipple type system in the lid to help with the spilling but, the nipples almost always leak, break, or just are awkward to drink from.  The bad part about polypropylene is that it usually contains BPA, it can often pick up odors of former fluids it had before, and it always get scratches on the bottle so it looks tired and old after one camping season.

Here is one of the worst bottles ever to get.  This is a copolyester bottle which its advantage is that it does not contain BPA.  These are the bottles that are often give as gifts at 5k runs or grocery stores for a couple of bucks.  They are easily printed on so logos are cheap and easy for this material.  Issues are these have very thin walls which crack easily and the lids are flimsy and leak or break.  They last me about half a camping season or so with light use.  I really recommend diabetic campers to spend a few extra bucks and get a quality bottle and it will save you money in the long run.  I use the above bottle just to take a small amount of milk out camping with the family

Hydration reservoirs are a thorn in my side.  I love them because you can put them in any style of backpack may it be a day pack, back pack or a hydration pack.  You can run the tube out a zipper and have water at your mouth all the time.  There are all sorts of brands, nipple systems, and tubes.  The issue is first they mildew almost the minute you put water in them, then if you do go by the instructions and never keep water in them you still have to clean them and that is impossible.  They do sell a device to clean them but that is more money and time.  Last issue is they tear all the time.  I have had tears in the tubes, the nipples, and even the bag.  With the tears and leaks I always carry a back up water bottle which takes up needed space.  Do you see my dilemma?

Wow, the above bottle is the classic polyethylene, just covered in an old school cloth, metal band and a strap.  Polyethylene is probably the best on the list or a tie with the hydration bag.  The material does not pick up odors (it does stain from iodine tablets), it does not pick up odors, and the material is good looking and does not scratch and I have never torn or broke one of these (I have lost a couple).  The above bottle sits in my office filled with iodine water from lake Texoma where I have wanted to do the great challenge of "Guess the water" which would be three cups, each numbered and in each one has a different type of water.  I was planning on bottled water in one, tap water in another, and fresh iodine lake water in another and see if my co-workers can guess which is which.

I am still on that hunt for my perfect water bottle.  If you have any suggestions for me to try please drop me a line and let me know what you like about it.  For all of us diabetics out there it is important for us to be properly hydrated and having the right bottle makes all the difference.  This post is more of an introduction and the market is flooded with every style and type for any occasion or activity.

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